HELL HINDU! 175
A. I can give my personal opinion only. It \vill be Eton-
violence without blemish.
So far so good. And the next sentence ?
Cutting wires, removing rails, destroying small bridges
cannot be objected to in a struggle like this.
"Small bridges.' An exquisite phrase, Mr. Gandhi! When, is a
bridge ' small' and when is it * not small'? And of what consolation
to the victims of a railway disaster are the pious words with which
their non-violent assassins tore up the tracks ?
Meanwhile, through the windows of the palace at Poona, where
he is confined, incense drifts round the figure of Gandhi,, proffered
by genuine anti-Fascists all over the world. It is the most ironical
paradox of the twentieth century—this anti-Fascist worship of
the man who was prepared to sell the pass to Fascism !
What of the future ? What are the limits—if any—of the
mischief he will be able to cause ? Are there likely to be any
major changes in his policy ? Although the answer to these
questions must be largely a matter of guesswork, it should be
possible to give a reasonably accurate forecast of the trend of
I myself think that his practical influence—in spite of the afore-
said clouds of incense—is sharply on the wane, and is not likely to
reassert itself even under the most favourable conditions. By the
time these words are published he will be seventy-five. He has
stepped out of gaol to find a very different world from the world
he left behind. Britain is no longer in extremis, struggling with her
back to the wall; the little yellow men are no linger waiting to be
welcomed on the doorstep, with their smiles and their promises.
Most important of all, the tremendous gap between his mystic
mumbo-jumbo and the hard but exciting realities of the modern
world is more than ever apparent. This gap has always been
a worry to the more intelligent members of Congress. Nehru
*epenly admitted it in his famous Autobiography—indeed, the most
vivid part of that book is the account of the exhausting mental
struggle which he has constantly been obliged t-> wage in his.